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Embattled Kazakh Lawyer Released From Psychiatric Clinic


Kazakh lawyer Zinaida Mukhortova, who was forcibly put into a psychiatric clinic, has been released from the institution.

Mukhortova told RFE/RL on December 15 that she was released on condition that she would visit the clinic every weekday and receive medication.

Mukhortova says her release is temporary, but she hopes it will be permanent next year.

She says she is the victim of a politically motivated campaign, with authorities investigating her mental competence only after she filed complaints against a high-ranking local official.

Mukhortova was detained and sent to the clinic on July 2 after she returned to her native town of Balkhash, Kazakhstan, from self-imposed exile in Russia.

Mukhortova, 57, fled Kazakhstan a year ago after a Qaraghandy regional court rejected her appeal to cancel her forced psychiatric treatment.

Mukhortova was forced to undergo psychiatric treatment twice before, in 2012 and 2013.

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    RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

    RFE/RL's Radio Azattyq has been an important source of information for people in Kazakhstan for decades. In 2009, Azattyq won the prestigious 2009 Online Journalism Award for "standing in defense of citizen’s rights to seek and receive information."

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